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Welcome Kate Oja, Staff Counsel!

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Please extend a warm welcome to Kate Oja, who joined the BCCLA as Staff Counsel in Litigation this fall.

Kate was called to the bar in 2010, after obtaining her law degree from the University of Toronto, with a focus on international human rights.  Prior to joining the BCCLA, Kate was a practising criminal defence lawyer, first in Toronto, where she gained valuable trial and appellate experience arguing cases at all levels of court in Ontario.  More recently, Kate practiced in Yellowknife, where she worked for two years as staff counsel for the Legal Aid Commission of the Northwest Territories, often travelling to remote communities to represent Indigenous clients facing criminal charges.  In 2018 she successfully challenged the constitutionality of the mandatory minimum sentence for the offence of reckless discharge of a firearm, resulting in the law being struck down in the Northwest Territories.  She has always been drawn to legal work that advances the rights of marginalized people and people in conflict with the law, and has significant experience litigating Charter cases that engage search and seizure rights, the right to counsel, and limitations on the arrest and detention powers of police.

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